Saturday, April 25, 2009

Day Four- Here's Some More

Funny what moves your mind when you're on the road and subject to a million new "stimuli" each day. Like last night in Illinois.....I wasn't gonna mention it, but some campgrounds give you a better feeling than others. I should have felt a bit unsettled when we pulled in and they handed us a "rule sheet" that specified there was to be "No urinating in public." I thought that might have gone without saying, but I guess not. That they thought they had to tell me (us) is a bit weird to begin with. That they have to tell ALL their guests is just downright scary. Who stays here? Besides me, I mean.

And because of that notice on bodily functions in public, I began to take things one step further:
"Do you have a dog?" said the man in the John Deere work truck that escorted us to our site.
Well, OK, just pick up after it."
I always do, pick up that is. Unless of course you are now referring to her "pee pee" which I have never tried to pick up. But since there is no urination allowed outside here, perhaps I should make a go of it, eh, hosier? Well, you know how it thing leads to another and now I am thinking about "#2" which leads me to today's travel tip! (If you can't follow this, it's OK, really, I am the one off on a tangent...

OK. So we are going to travel, and we are going to plan for all eventualities. Last post I talked about sun in your eyes and "time of day" travel. Time travel? Yes. Like "jet lag" only different. Bus Lag! If you travel with pets, especially a dog, there are some additional concerns to be taken under advisement. Your dog, perhaps like my dog (Abby, the Wonder Dog) has certain times of day when matters must be attended to.... If I am, for example, on the East coast of the US, and my dog needs to "step out" at 7 in the AM, and I am also used to getting up at 7 AM, then all is well in my universe. But if I start to travel west, with a mission to cross the country in short order, then as soon as I cross the first Time Zone demarcation, all of a sudden Abby needs to go out at 6AM, since I've had to set my clocks (a man made instrument of time analysis) back one hour---but she has no concept of that. She still thinks it is 7 when I know it is actually 6. Similarly, when a couple days later I cross into the next time zone, she has no concept of that either and now has to take care of business when, for me, it is only 5 on the morning. And if I am going hell bent for Alaska (4 hours ahead of Eastern Standard) the dog now needs to rise and shine at 3. Arrrghhhh!

3. Or even 4. Three! Four! Those are hours of the day that should be totally set aside for the rising out of bed of trout fisher persons! 3 or4. They are not indicated for the walking of the dog. Not even a Portuguese Water Dog goes out to do anything, even urination, in public, at that particular hour. Which brings me to the Tip of the Day for day what???? 3 or 4. Three. Four! Accustomize, if that's a word, your dog to going potty at 9 AM before you start your trip, and 10 if you can force him or her to sleep in and just "hold it." By doing that, your dog will rise and shine and answer the call of the wild at 9, 8, 7, and 6 respectively as you cross the country- which will not be quite so hard on you and your beauty sleep.

When we did take Abby out today for a mid morning drive break, the wind at the rest stop was blowing so hard that we couldn't pull the door closed behind us. It took three tries. The signs said to "pick up after your dog" but effectively IT blew into the next county, so, technically, I don't think we had to do it, but did anyway, out of respect for truckers who may not make it all the way to the outhouse as they dash across the lawn designated as the Pet Walk.

Also today, we crossed the mighty Mississippi for the Umpteenth time. Umpteenth, a number nearly as hard to explain (or spend) as a Trillion. Once we did that, we hit Rt 80 in Iowa, home of the single Largest Truck Stop in the World. Located at exit 284 it is more like a city than a truck stop, but that's how they bill themselves and they claim parking for 800 big rigs. I believe it. For you fuel price conscious followers, Iowa regular gasoline ranged from 1.87 to 1.98 a gallon, and diesel from about 2.07 to 2.16. I guess this is good info to know for preparation sake, but in truth it doesn't matter. Whatever the price to go to Alaska- it's worth it! But beware, prices on the ALCAN highway, are, significantly, still inflated compared to elsewhere and probably always will be. Once you travel it, you will understand. Depending on the time of year you travel it, you and the fuel delivery truck may be the only two vehicles on the road.

Bummer of the week: Tomorrow we will pass within 100 miles of our Geeky pals, Jim and Chris, who are at the Gravity Church that far south of us in Iowa. We didn't know of our near miss until a day or so ago and it was too late to change reservations without losing the deposits on them (the reservations that is) , in order to stop by to see them (The Geeks that is). I don't know what the Gravity Church is. At all! But they sent us a picture of it and had this to say, "We helped our friends (some way) in buying it and we love it and are gonna go help work on it" ( a paraphrase not a quote despite the quotation marks ). Jim and Chris are marvelously adventuresome. If they like this project, then it must be a good one. I don't know if this is an old church in the town of Gravity being converted to a house, a mission, a hostel for wayward campers, the town's only McDonald's or what! I don't know if it is some kind of "vortex" that keeps them connected to the earth. I don't know if you weigh more or less there because of, well, gravity. And I don't care. If they want to be there, and clearly they do, then I am sorry to be missing out. End of report. If you guys will look out your windows and about a hundred miles to the north tomorrow at about 10 clock, we'll wave as we drive on by you.

Also today, we got a blog comment from Mark and Chris, friends from Peace River, Wachula, Thousand Trails, informing us that they too will be making the journey To Alaska this summer. And, we get the extra added bonus news that Miss Jane and her husband will be meeting them in Edmonton to join forces for the rest of the trip. For those of you who read regularly, you may remember that "Miss Jane" runs the Old Fossils Club in Wachula and helps campers find and identify ancient fossils in the sands and waters of the Peace River, which flows through the campground there. This is a great activity and Jane helped us find lots of really good stuff. I'm thinking and hoping they will all make it up to Chicken and I can help them find some of that there yellow metal- GOLD. Sharks teeth and gold are both treasures in my book. Journey on, you guys! Keep in touch. Remember, Alaska "tastes like Chicken..."

If any of you should notice missing "U's" in my text, please excuse the fact that I missed a few corrections. The "U" key on my computer has gone on strike (actually it refuses to strike, I guess) unless I pound the daylights out of it. It's challenging to proof read a post when one letter is AWOL from the alphabet!


Mike said...

Your timetable is off a bit. If it is 7am on the East Coast, it is 3am here in Chicken and almost light at that hour. The sun just set (9pm), but will be light another couple hours. Wish we were losing the snow as fast as we are gaining daylight.

Greg said...

Good going Mike! I deliberately screwed up the word problem math to see if anyone was paying attention.You were. The moral of the story is, "Give a math test to all personnel before signing them!

Chris said...

Waving :-) Waving :-)
I like 'vortex that keeps us connected to earth' !!
We'll be following you enviously to Chicken, Alaska.

Jeff said...

In view of your math problems, I highly suggest you listen to Jimmy Buffett's song entitled, "MATH SUCKS"!
It not only seems appropriate for you, but is especially meaningful to me having failed algebra TWICE. UGH!

As the 1st 49'er, Lisette and I wish to confirm that our ETD is still May 1 as of this moment. We do NOT wish to see SNOW or ICE en route!

Thanks too for the fuel info....we need it, and be safe and enjoy!

Jeff and Lisette

Greg said...

Jeff and Lisette, You ARE going to see snow. You are going to see snow on the mountain tops. You are going to see snow, as you cross the Canadian Rockies, right up to the edge of the road.You may want to stop and make a snow angel or two along your route. Once there, you will see snow flurries as you drive...and fresh snow on the glaciers no matter what time of year it is. But trust me- you won't be upset by any of this. It is part of the wonderment of your journey. It will take your breath away in glory not agony. Embrace it and all that you find along the way. You are venturing into the land of enlightenment, not the land of winter pileups on I-95 North. It's gonna be OK, guys.